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Products You Probably Don’t Want to Buy Super-Cheap

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Illustration for article titled Products You Probably Don’t Want to Buy Super-Cheap

Photo: filo (Getty Images)

The old expression “you get what you pay for” is often true, but can be downright generous for household items bought on the cheap. Some even have negative value, because they’re so poorly made that they cost you more in the long run compared to a pricier, better-made versions. The following items shouldn’t be bought at bargain-basement prices, if you can help it.

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Batteries 

Discount battery manufacturers make poorly-made batteries with substandard seals that can leak and ruin the devices they power. Top-end batteries leak less, and if they do, the premium brand will offer to replace your damaged device. Cheap batteries also tend to be made from carbon-zinc which doesn’t last as long as alkaline batteries. You might even see a “use for low-drain devices” disclaimer on the packaging, which should tell you a lot.

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Mac ‘n Cheese 

The powdered cheese in cheap off-brands doesn’t fully emulsify and leaves behind clumps. The good news is that the old standbys like Kraft Mac & Cheese can be found for less than $1 a box if you buy it in bulk.

Toilet Paper 

The cheap stuff is usually one-ply and made from a poorer quality of paper made with less fibers. It’s less absorbent and tears easily, so you might end up using more of it compared to a softer-feeling two-ply brand.

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Laundry detergent 

Those old TV ads with a split-screen showing a top brand cleaning stains better than “brand X” detergent wasn’t just marketing. The cheapest brands will not remove tough stains like dirt and chocolate.

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Furniture 

Used furniture found on reseller sites is sturdier, less wasteful, and more widely available than the low-end stuff you’ll find at places like IKEA. Many sellers on sites like Craigslist will even give you their furniture for free if you’re able to pick it up and take it off their hands.

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Light bulbs

LED bulbs are the most energy efficient bulb compared to CFL or incandescent bulbs, which is great for your utility bill. But cheap, lower-quality LED bulbs are more likely to make a buzzing noise, have inconsistent color, and will almost certainly die sooner.

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Wall Paint

Cheap paint requires more coats to get the same even coverage than a more expensive paint, so you might not be saving money at all. Premium paint has better-quality pigments and thickening additives that allow for a more uniform surface. Plus, cheap paint fades sooner.

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Shoes

Cheap shoes might save you some dollars, but they can also virtually disintegrate without much use, especially if they get wet. If the quality of materials and manufacturing of shoes are poor, they’ll force you to replace your shoes in weeks or months, not years.

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Condoms

Most brands of condoms are very safe and approved by the FDA (which means they randomly test condoms and strict guidelines manufacturers must follow). However, stay clear of “condom-like products” which are not FDA-approved (like those weird novelty condoms you can buy in bathrooms) as they may not offer the same level of protection.

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What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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